Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Wonder Woman, Volume 7: War-Torn Review (Meredith Finch, David Finch)

Diana has become the new God of War in addition to being Queen of Themyscira and Wonder Woman in the Justice League. But with her loyalties divided, Diana’s Amazons begin an insurrection against her progressive rule, led by the barbaric Donna Troy. 

I wasn’t a huge fan of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman and only read a couple volumes but I could appreciate what they were doing, and they certainly had a fair number of supporters. Meredith Finch though - I don’t think she’s a good choice to replace Azzarello as a writer at all. For one, she’s the wife of artist David Finch and I’m pretty sure that’s how she got the gig seeing as she’s only written one comic prior to this, for Zenescope (so you know it’s good!). 

But mostly her book, War-Torn, isn’t just a dull, humorless adventure, it’s also too simplistic. The only old woman on Paradise Island, Derinoe, who looks like she should be offering our heroine a rosy red apple, is obviously up to no good and stirring up discontent, among other things - but the Amazons listen to her and are easily manipulated against Diana. 

The Amazons are written as complete idiots in this book. I mean, besides looking like Satan, might they wonder why Derinoe’s not youthful like them, that their might be a reason behind that? And they’re so insecure - the second Diana leaves to help out the Justice League they’re grumbling about not getting all of her attention! What are they, jealous five year olds? Mommmeeee, never leave meeeee!! These women are hundreds of years old! 

Ares also apparently had several dangerous pets in the form of a dragon and man-eating Stymphalian birds (robotic armoured birds) who’re drawn to Paradise Island because Diana’s the new God of War. But why are they attacking the island, their new master’s home - don’t they just want to hang out? 

Donna Troy, like the other characters, is one dimensional, an unimaginative threat (the “evil Wonder Woman”) for Diana to battle. The Justice League story where underground insectoids are causing havoc is dreary and poorly handled amidst the other storylines. Also, Diana’s behaviour changing now that she’s the God of War was too vague and nonsensical - how exactly does the title make her stupider and more aggressive? 

David Finch’s artwork is fine. I’m not really a fan but I liked his Swamp Thing who looked far less human and more otherworldly than he does in his solo series, as he should. But his Diana - not so good. Initially her face is drawn to look almost like a teenager’s and then about four issues in it changes completely into a distinctly woman’s face. It bothers me because, aside from the final issue drawn by Goran Sudzuka, David Finch is the sole artist on this book but he still can’t manage consistency in his character designs - not the mark of a great artist. 

Meredith Finch tries to juggle too many storylines and doesn’t pull it off any of them at all successfully. It’s a weak book that doesn’t inspire confidence in this series. Instead of hiring someone so inexperienced, DC should’ve gone with more established superhero writers like Gail Simone or Marjorie Liu, someone who could live up to the character’s stature, or I would’ve liked to have seen someone like Noelle Stevenson or Colleen Coover, who’ve made an impression in female-driven indie comics, brought in to have a stab at Wonder Woman. 

Wonder Woman, Volume 7: War-Torn is a drab, forgettable effort from this husband and wife team. If you weren’t already a fan, this one’s not going to win you over and if you were a fan of Azzarello/Chiang’s run, this’ll be a let-down.

Wonder Woman, Volume 7: War-Torn

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